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5:33 a.m. - 2003-10-22

I FUCKING HATED JOURNAL CON

I haven't mentioned this yet because I'm still seething.

But I fucking hated Journal Con.

Yes, I went. It was a last minute thing because I didn't know if I'd be able to go or not. But I went on Travelzoo and scored some awesome tickets to Austin.

So I went.

And here's MY fucking recap of events.

First, I get there and I see Weetabix and Omar.

Weetabix is sitting at a table signing autographs for a long line of squealing journalists when I get there.

"Hey Weet!" I said. "How are you?"

She looked at my face, slowly looked down at my feet and then back to my face, looking more and more disgusted as she went.

"Who are you?" she sneered while scrawling unintelligible lines on a mix CD.

"It's me, Weet!" I chirped. "Uncle Bob!"

"Uncle WHO??" she sneered again.

"You know!" I laughed. "The guy who a few years ago you wished would wish you a Happy Birthday and I did! Uncle Bob! The Diary Guy!"

She then looked like she had just swallowed scorched motor oil.

"Please go away before I call security," she hissed.

I figured she was busy so I checked in and got my room key.

My room was shit. It was on the 20th floor of the hotel which for those of you who were smart enough not to sign up for this thing, was like ... the floor of death.

Literally, my room was a cot on the slanted roof of the hotel. The first night I was there, I tossed and turned a bit until I almost slid 20 stories to my death. If it hadn't been for the rusty girder which snagged my boxers as I began my tumble, the maintenance crew would have been hosing my remains off the sidewalk.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday night, everyone kind of split up and went to restaurants.

I tagged along with a group who went to a Thai restaurant.

There were 13 of us all total and they secured a table for 12.

Guess who had to sit by themself??

At a table in the fucking kitchen??

Yup.

Me.

The food wasn't bad if you like grilled cat with tangy orange sauce.

Then, I get my bill and I go to pay it but have forgotten my wallet in my "room".

"I don't have any money with me," I nervously laughed to the waiter. "But I have some friends in the dining area. I'm sure they'll lend me some money."

The guy got out a stun gun and kept it trained on me the entire time as I approached the table of laughing, drunken journalists.

"Hey, can anyone front me a few bucks to help me pay my bill?"

The laughter suddenly stopped as they all stared at me.

"It's uhhhh...it's like seven dollars," I said. "I had the ... uhhh ... the uhhhhh ... the grilled cat."

They kept staring silently.

"Maybe...I dunno ...$8.50 with a tip?"

Silent stares.

"$8.25?"

Silent stares.

Then Omar spoke up.

"Just who the fuck are you, dude?"

I stammered a bit.

"Uhhh...hey ... yeah ...Uncle Bob? I do this diary thing on the web like you guys and uhhhh...I've recapped some shows on Television Without Pity."

"Oh," Omar said. "I'm a recapper there too. What do you recap?"

I swallowed hard.

"I uhhhhh...I used to do "Ed" until the powers that be decided that nobody was reading my recaps. So they laid me off for about a year. Then they gave me "The Surreal Life". That lasted six episodes. Then they gave me "Fraternity Life". But that was an MTV show that didn't have the words "The Real World" in the title so nobody read that either," I quietly admitted.

"HA!" Omar laughed, leaning back in his chair and taking a long draw off his Cuban cigar. "So you're a nobody then ... right?"

"Yeah," I said. "For the most part. You got eight bucks I can borrow?"

"I'm sorry, Gringo," Omar laughed. "Looks like you're going to be washing dishes!"

Then they all laughed at Omar's ever-so-witty comeback.

I ended up washing dishes until 5 a.m. with a guy who swore he was an escaped convict named Victor. At 5 a.m., I was forced to blow the manager before I could leave and get back to my "room".

On Saturday, I slept in until noon which gave me a raging sunburn since I was on the roof of the hotel which is sloped and I almost died, but I think we've gone over that already.

I went downstairs to the bathroom in the lobby and freshened up.

I ran into Sundry who was as beautiful as everyone says she is.

"Hi Sundry," I said. "I'm Uncle Bob!"

"The asshole that had no pity when that space shuttle exploded in February?" she said, arms folding across her chest.

"Ha," I chuckled quietly. "Yeah, that was me. Gosh, I forgot all about that."

"Yeah?" she asked. "I'm sure their families have too. Asshole."

She then gave me several swift kicks to the balls before I fell face first onto the lobby floor in front of a Norwegian looking family of four.

Trance Jen walked past at that very moment.

"Hey Trance," I moaned. "Love the diary. I was listening to that tape you sent me just the other day and rocking out in the car."

"Shhhhh!!" she hissed. "For chrissakes ... I don't want anyone knowing that I know you."

"Yeah," I said, slowly lifting my index and middle finger to my eyebrow and then gesturing them toward her. "I completely understand."

I went to a couple of seminars and then went to see Beck in concert, but it really sucked because Beck is now doing comedy material. He was good at it, but I really wanted to hear "Loser" because it was quickly becoming my theme song.

Plus, once again, I had to sit by myself. I tried to pick up a hooker from Tijuana to sit with me, but she was asking for an outrageous amount of money just to sit with me and make me look like I had a friend.

I had heard rumors that some people were going to this karaoke bar and I managed to bribe the kid at the front desk of the hotel to give me directions to the place.

I showed up at the karaoke bar and the Journal Con people had basically taken it over.

Montykins was doing a wicked version of "One Night In Bangkok" where he kept doing these hip thrusts every time he said the word "Bangkok" which had all the ladies swooning because they all wanted a little bangkok of their own.

I bumped into Cruel Irony and asked if she still listened to the discs that I sent her a year or so ago.

"Burned 'em," she said, avoiding eye contact with me. "I was bored one night and torched 'em with a cigarette lighter."

"I put a lot of work into those," I said cautiously, not wanting to upset her.

She picked up a steak knife from a nearby table.

"How 'bout I put a lot of work into carving your fucking heart out?" she sneered, drawing circles on my chest with the edge of the knife.

I quickly backed away from her. The gal is serious.

I figured that if I ever had a chance of bonding with everyone, I could do it over karaoke.

I grabbed a book and quietly pored over the selections and finally settled on the perfect song.

I turned in my slip and the karaoke guy just stared at me.

They called my name and I bounded up onstage to a smattering of applause from locals.

I then began to sing to the melody.

"It must have been cold there in my shadow," I warbled.

Groans from the audience.

"To never have sunlight on your face," I continued.

A small amount of boos found their way to the stage.

"You were content to let me shine, that's your way. You always walked a step behind"

Someone yelled, "Get off the stage, you fat puke!"

I continued, eyes welling with tears.

"Did you ever know that you're my hero? You're everything I wished I could beeeeeee. I could fly higher than an eeeeeeagle. If you were the wind beneath my wings."

A flying bottle of Shiner Bock then knocked me unconscious.

When I came to, I was told by a guy stealing my wallet that it was M. Giant who lobbed the bottle in my direction.

I thanked the man for his honesty and then begged him not to shoot me. Thankfully, he merely kicked me repeatedly in the ribs and then ran away, leaving me to bleed quietly in the alley behind the bar.

Sunday I managed to crawl back to my "room", secure myself into my cot with my belt and get a few hours of sleep while birds shit in my hair and the sun beat down on me.

I got up about 2 p.m. and all of the other journallers had already left. My skin was blistered and covered in bird shit, but I went down to pay for the cot.

"That's $234 with tax," the girl behind the desk said.

"I had my wallet stolen last night as I laid bleeding in an alley," I moaned. "You put me in a cot on top of the hotel roof which is at an angle so I kept sliding out of my bed and tumbling a few floors down before I could reach out and catch my hand on some metal structures and then climbed back up to my cot for a few more minutes of sleep before the fun continued. Nobody here talked to me and the ones who did either threatened my life or physically beat me. Is there some sort of discount you can give me?"

There wasn't.

I had to fork over my watch, my laptop, my shoes, my airplane ticket and the swag that I had brought that nobody wanted ... a stack of index cards with my recipe for chili printed neatly on each one.

I hitchiked home and managed to land a ride with a band of gypsies who kept saying they wanted to eat me alive and then cackled madly.

They dumped me off in Mississippi and I limped the rest of the way home.

I fucking hated Journal Con.

Can't wait to see you all again next year!!

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